While I am pleased this mayor and council are finally addressing my request to videotape meetings, I am not at all pleased with their plan as I understand it to be. Any plan that does not call for a live telecast that covers the public meeting from the beginning to the end is not the way to go.
For example, I attended a meeting back in March 2000. At that meeting, during remarks from citizens portion of the meeting, a resident concerned about the effect the Keystone problem and the possible risk to the health of his family, made an emotional statement to “go postal.” He like many others who had been sitting there viewing the mayor and council and the deliberate indifference to the Keystone residents’ complaints, apparently had taken all he could take and misspoke. A poor choice of words, yes, a terrorist threat, no way. However Mayor Dennis Elwell and some, not all council members, felt threatened. The result was that man and his family were put through hell; check the records, read the March 23, 2000 issue of the Secaucus Reporter.
Now if that meeting had been videotaped, the tape would have given the viewers a far different version other than what was reported in the local newspapers. Having to rely on the judgment and accuracy of only covering portions of a meeting in regard to who said what, and most important the context in which it was said, lacks a found sense of fairness to all parties concerned. Apparently the mayor and some councilmen have different agendas on how they choose to project people in the eyes of the Secaucus voters.
As for Town Administrator David Drumler’s statement that some on the council fear the danger that people will play to the camera because they know they will be on TV, Mr. Drumler have no fear, let the fools speak out. We all know a fool when we see one.